On the matter of aging
Several years ago The New Yorker magazine published a cartoon showing a man with a newspaper. With a distressed look on his face, he was reading a page with a headline in large type reading: "Obituaries."
Below the main headline, the page had several sub-heads printed in a smaller size of type. One read: "Five years younger than me." Another subhead read: "Two years younger than me." Still another subhead read: "Same age as me." The man in the cartoon looked as if he was preoccupied making mental calculations.
Increasingly, I find myself viewing the obituary page of my local newspaper with the same rapt attention to the ages of the deceased. My youngest grandson, now in the first grade, hasn't helped matters with his insistent inquiries about my age and his astonishment that I am so many years older than he is. He seems puzzled that I can still be around at such an advanced age.
A Dutch respondent to this blog, who is enamored with American literature, has written to me that Mark Twain once said: "Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."
Despite my regular attention to the obituary page in my local newspaper, I am trying to make Mr. Twain's maxim a formula for my own life.